I have to be able to edit my posts. So this thread is copy pasta of my old one. This will likely be a gradual process of copy pasta ing. Stupid perfect world for botching the migration... Of course with the new fleet ships, and new other ideas for old ships, I'll be adding new content as well.
"I should be facerolling Escorts and bops with my Ship of the line! This isn't canon!" This is a common variation on frustrated pvpers. Often times they will post what appears to be an indepth analyisis even as to "just what makes Escorts and bops OP" When frankly, they couldn't be more wrong. The first question to ask, is a Cruiser a DPS Ship? The answer is as follows. While there are a couple of exceptions to the rule, by and large...
Nope unless you are following a fairly narrow Tac Cruiser build your job isn't dps (and then with a tac cruiser the best ones in my opinion, treat damage at best as an equal partner to the ships native role fedside). Your role is support, first and foremost as a cruiser. You have to keep your team mates alive through the alpha strikes coming in from the klingon attacks / enemy escorts (FvF if the latter). Once you keep your team mate alive (most likely an Escort since those are almost always priority one in pvp to kill, they are the squishiest fedside. Though, I often target Gal X's first, as nothing is so clearly a Noob Pilot as someone in any Galaxy Class Variant) then your enemy you'll find has alot less damage for around thirty seconds or so afterwards, in which case it's a slow build up back up, which is far more managable with healing.
Throughout this thread I will post various builds (others are welcome to post builds as well) that I recommend for use in pvp. NOTE if it works in pvp it will ROFLSTOMP any and all pve.
Cruisers are actually the hardest ships to kill when built properly, due to having very high native damage reduction, shield strength and hull points. Especially engineering cruisers, as they have access to a host of self heal capability that other classes do not have. When the pilot of a cruiser doesn't suck, he doesn't become a high priority/easy quick kill. Use powers like Emergency Power to Shields 2, and 1, Engineering team 2 and 3, Aux to structural integrity field 3, Extend Shields 2, Reverse Shield Polarity1, and if you are a Tac, Emergency Power to Weapons1, or if you are an engineer or sci captain, Emergency Power to Aux1. For tactical slots, run Tactical Team1, and either Attack Pattern Delta1, or Tactical team 1, and Beam Overload2. (if you are a tac) Science powers, Hazard Emitters1/Polarize Hull1, and Transfer Shield strength2, or two transfer shield strengths. (1 and 2)
If you have an extra ensign slot, you might as well throw target engines there to assist in controlling enemy movement.
If you have the following powers on your ship remove them immediately because they are utterly worthless. Emergency Power to Weapons 2 and up. Emergency to Aux 2 and up, Emergency to Engines 2 and up. Aux to Battery 1 and up. Boarding Party 1 and up, Aceton Field 1 and up. Aux to Inertial Dampeners 2 (1 is just as good as 2 is), Jam Sensors, Scramble Sensors (not really worthless but it's not a cruiser power by any means), Tachyon Beam1 or 2, (1 is terrible and you do not have the turn rate to make 2 work) Energy Siphon1, Torpedo High Yield 1 or 2 *again you don't really have the turn rate for this one, and only tacs really get the miles out of this use Torp Spread instead great for Escorts though* Beam Overload1 (only good for killing shuttles... BO2 is much better)
Power levels should be weapons /25 Shields /75, Engines /25 Aux /75 for healing configuration, and if you are running emergency to weapons instead of aux, weapons /75 shields /75 engines /25 aux /25
That's just a sample fairly standard healcruiser build it works great with the Assault Cruiser, and the gal X (as much as anything can work with that ugly, and horrible ship seriously gtfo out of it ASAP the Galaxy X is a terrible ship. It's not as bad as it used to be but it's still the worst cruiser in the game. It's a Vanity Item at best and a Bullseye creator at worst as no other ship in the game clearly marks you as a Noob as a Gal X.. cause everyone that has experience avoids it, and the Gal Retrofit like the black plague) star cruisers I'll cover later. There's a few other more advanced build options you can run, but this is a good one to learn on as it has plenty of healing for team mates, (and heal your team mates! if you save them all for yourself you are only getting your allies killed!) The Excelsior is a damage ship, but is best employed by Tactical and Science captains. Engineers need not apply unless you enjoy wasting your time. (as Engineer captains do not do DPS, nor do they do Debuffing like science captains do)
Emergency powers are the lifeblood of a good fedcruiser, as they enable you to greatly boost your power level for whatever emergency to X you are running at the time. Emergency Power to Shields can be chained one after another (which is why so many ships seem ''invincible'' to you) Tactical team makes all but the most fiercesome anti proton beam overload 3 crit a complete joke, even if your emergency power to shields isn't up at the time. Reverse shield polarity is used as an oh crap button when you have already given away your transfer shield strengths to a team mate and you are almost out of shields. (it's especially useful just after you get sub nucleaonic beamed, and you pop a shield battery with it. Then you can usually save Rotate Shield freq if you are an engineer for the second sub nuc if it's coming and chances are someone's given you a sci team to clear the debuff, and an emergency power is probably also ready at that point) you should always always always if possible have an emergency power to shields up.
And yes you can run two emergency powers at the same time if they are for different subsystems.
When running at the /75 powers I mentioned emergency power 2, is enough to put your shields at full strength, which boosts your shield regen, and it's native damage reduction, it also has the pleasant side effect of almost maxing out your extend shields' damage reduction bonus. While emergency 1 almost kicks everything to capacity as well.
Devices I recommend keeping the following handy. Shield Batteries, (or rechargeable shield battery if you can get one) Weapon Battery, Subspace field modulator, and Aux Battery. Shield Batteries are for when you have been Sub Nucleaonic beamed. This gets your shield power right back up to 125 and gives a small shield heal in the process. For Engies this makes them even more frustrating to kill since often you can then save rotate shield frequency for either being nucced again, or just for use as your shield strength falls to roughly half. For Tacs and Sci it's a straight up life saver. Weapon batteries are to be used when a target is near death (if you aren't using emergency power to weapons1 or if it's cooldown is active), so you can cram that last little bit of DPS into the target to hopefully down it before they can get heals.
Subspace field modulators are good for when you are being focus fired and a shield is near critical, it increases both your damage resistance and your Defense Score, Aux Batteries are for when you are running weapon power bias (ie thats one of your /75s) or for when your EPTA (emergency power to aux1) is off, and you need that -extra- bit of healing to save someone's life.
Don't forget to put Distribute Shield power somewhere you can easily keep hitting it, when the enemy starts attacking you. Most people keybind it to the space bar, but honestly I shield tank worse then I run it there, because it throws off the rhythm of the shield distribution when damage comes in. Sure it's more micro intensive than what most people do, but honestly it pays dividends especially when tac team is on cool down. (and now you all know my secret for shield tanking... I'm doomed)
Also, pay attention to your positioning relative to the other players on your team. Cruisers should either be in the middle where they can put their extend shields outwards, or circling slowly behind the Escorts on the outside edge of combat, and adjust your throttle as you go along. Also, I recommend you move throttle control to the mouse scroll wheel. That lets you pull off fancy moves, like the reverse flat spin which is very difficult if not impossible with the default bind of it being on your keyboard, this also frees up your fingers so they can more easily hit the number rows and keep fighting, or frees up the default throttle keys for staple abilities so you do not have to hunt the keyboard and never leave WASD.
For example when I'm at a buddies place, and I need my sto fix and I forget to take my Razer Naga with me (which really is worth the investment if you plan on playing alot of mmos and rts games) I bind whatever my emergency power to shields is, (third ability, on the top row usually) to Q, and the second emergency power to shields to E.
Speaking of, if you really want to get serious in pvp without springing for a razer naga you might want to consider a keyboard layout different from the standard WASD+ Numbers and start binding various abilities to other keys, like the aformentioned E and Q. Some other good non number keys to bind powers to are also C, X, Z, V and B, just to cite some examples. This means you never leave total control over your ship, while you are hitting powers. Which is one of the reasons the Razer Naga is just so good. All the numbers are on the side of the mouse leaving your other hand free for actually moving about, hitting push to talk keys, firing weapons etc.
To change your control scheme press Escape, hit options, and click on the tab for keybinds. Begin arranging as desired.
I also recommend heavily regardless of what you do for ability activation running the 3 row power tray instead of the default one with the silly pictures of your bridge crew. The default tray is completely useless in pvp, wastes time in searching for abilities, and even worse clutters up your screen. Also, practice using the numbers instead of mouse clicking abilities. It saves your mouse for healing allies then or clicking through enemy targets.